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Tennis

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Kvitova withdraws from Birmingham tennis

Two-times defending champion Petra Kvitova withdrawn from next week's Birmingham Classic as she continues to recover from arm injury that forced her to miss the French Open, Britain's Lawn Tennis Association says.

Kvitova won the Birmingham event in 2017 in just her second tournament back following a serious knife attack that nearly ended her career, and followed up with a victory over Magdalena Rybarikova to lift the title again last year.

"Unfortunately Birmingham is too soon, but I'm working really hard to get back as soon as possible and - of course -keeping everything crossed for Wimbledon," the 29-year-old wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.

The injury comes as a blow for world No.5 Kvitova ahead of next month's Wimbledon, where she will bid for her third title following triumphs in 2011 and 2014.

The LTA confirmed American Madison Keys has also pulled out of the tournament due to an injury.

World No.3 Karolina Pliskova joins a draw which already features world No.1 Naomi Osaka and newly-crowned French Open champion Ashleigh Barty.

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